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Valve's tactical military shooter Counter Strike: Global Offensive might be close to a decade old now, but it's still got a few tricks up its sleeve. This weekend just gone, there were more people concurrently playing the multiplayer FPS than ever before, sailing past a record it set four years ago.
As spotted by Eurogamer, the Steam Charts painted a very attractive picture of CS:GO at the weekend. On Sunday (February 9th), Valve's shooter hit a new concurrent peak of over 901,000 players. That's over 50,000 more than its previous record of 850,485 players, set back in 2016.
It's not entirely clear what caused this boost in numbers, but it doesn't seem to be slowing down too much. In fact, there's barely been any drop off at all.
At the time of writing, CS:GO remains the most popular game on Steam, well ahead of Dota 2, PUBG, and GTA V. For comparison, CS:GO has over 250,000 more peak concurrent players than Dota 2, the current second most-played game on Steam.
CSGO's peak concurrent player numbers are undeniably massive, but it's PUBG that holds the all-time record for highest overall peak concurrent player numbers. The battle royale game might not be as popular as it once was, but during the height of its powers in 2018, it managed to reach an astounding 3 million peak concurrent players.
Steam itself also hit a new milestone earlier in the month, reaching an incredible record-high 18.8 million concurrent users. Steam's previous record of 18,537,490 users was set in January 2018. On Sunday February 2nd, that number was smashed by around 300,000 with a new peak of 18,801,944 players.
As Counter-Strike reaches new heights and attracts more players, Valve has detailed a new system that works to automatically mute abusive gamers. A post from Valve on the Counter-Strike website explained that this new system will issue warnings to players who receive "significantly more abuse reports than other players".
If any such players continue to ignore those warnings, they'll find themselves automatically muted by all other players by default. Abusive players will find this mute state remains in play until they earn enough XP to remove the penalty. Seems like the smartest and easiest course of action for everyone is to just not be abusive then, eh?
Valve has confirmed that it's already getting positive feedback from the new system. Could it possibly be that making CS:GO a safer and more positive gaming experience has played a part in the game's surge in concurrent players?
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